The federal government issues special education funds to states through IDEA. The state issues them based on the federal funds available, as well as their own share of state funds. In Delaware, this is the unit-count process. Under federal law, they are beholden to use the laws in IDEA to issue these funds. But now the Delaware Department of Education is looking at Smarter Balanced Assessment results in funding to local education agencies (schools). The Exceptional Children Resources Group is looking to do this based on no state or federal laws. Once again, the Delaware DOE, even under the leadership of Dr. Steven Godowsky, is creating their own rules and accountability scare tactics.
Could the DOE find more ways to screw over students with disabilities? This is obviously tied to opt-out. After high school juniors, the highest population of opt-outs was students with disabilities in Delaware. By tying funding to SBAC performance, the DOE is trying to test schools and parents. I can’t say I’m surprised. When Acting US Secretary of Education John King is holding onto state assessments as “excellence in education” and views opt-out as unacceptable, the Markell flavored Delaware DOE is sure to follow suit. When is this going to end? When will we stop relying on high-stakes tests to determine students and schools worthiness? This changes nothing. Continue to opt your child out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Delaware parents. The testing window starts Wednesday. Opt-out and refuse the test now!